They may be at the rear of the VOR fleet but Team ING Real Estate Brunel are still relatively in one piece 18/1/06

They may not be particularly fast but Grant Wharington and team aboard the Australian VOR yacht ING Real Estate Brunel are chugging along 900 miles behind ABN AMRO One without, currently, any more major problems.

Wharington and team suffered serious mast track problems, twice, in the early part of this race which resulted in them being only being able to hoist their mainsail with a third reef in. Suffering from lack of boat speed the Australian team has been unable to make any ground on the front runners but consistency is definitely going to be the key to success in this VOR particularly as another one has ‘bitten the dust’ with a dismasting this morning see earlier newstory here. 

Team ING Real Estate Brunel are currently making 17.2kts at a position of 38 58.01S/113 25.02E and according to Wharington who chatted from the boat this morning, crew morale is on a high: “A big day on the caravan today, as we crossed the 40th parallel heading up
to Western Australia’s Eclipse Island, the mood change on board was a great
lift. Although the guys have kept their heads high against the odds in
this leg after getting dropped off the back of two major weather systems,
almost like a miracle when the GPS read 39.99 s and we were out of the
Southern Ocean the rain clouds cleared and out came the sun. The shifty
post frontal 10kn breeze became 18-22kn from exactly the right angle for
the Code 0 to be hoisted and the boat speed to get up to 20kn again!

“One small heart failure as the forestay pin fell out at the bottom and
washed the stay past the cap shroud to leeward! Lucky we had the zero up
or we would have lost the rig! This bent the toggle at the bottom and
meant we had to reconnect the forestay without it. Don (Jones) our yacht
designer won’t be happy but we have been told by our fearless navigator
Matt Humphries that it is all downwind to Melbourne? I hope he is